FLEX exchange student from Kyrgyzstan planting pine trees with her host grandfather in Ohio
Nuriza and her host grandfather planting pine trees in Ohio

Planting Trees for the Future

I am from the beautiful country of Kyrgyzstan. At my house, I have planted many trees and different plants. I love nature, and I love planting trees, flowers, and different plants. I love taking care of them, exploring, and observing the beauty of nature. For me, planting something means giving life. 

I wished to leave something after me in the United States—something valuable and something important. Trees were the best choice. My host grandparents helped me to achieve my dream. My grandfather got 30 pine trees and over 150 pecan seeds. We planted them in the countryside in Ohio. When I will leave this country, my trees will still grow and give oxygen to these amazing people. I hope they will grow and become stronger every day. I believe I will come back and see my mighty trees again. It was an exciting moment, when we saw those little, tiny trees. They are so little but so important to our community, to humans, to animals, to everybody. I cannot even imagine our life without trees. We have to increase their number; we have to take care of trees; and we have to take care of the environment. We have to begin with ourselves. The future is in our hands.

—Nuriza (FLEX, Kyrgyzstan), hosted by the Harris family (OH)